Notions' is a kaleidoscopic journey through the struggles and delusions of two very co-dependent individuals. Both self-professed icons in their late 20s, Valerie and Eoghan have been friends since college, where they studied English and Drama respectively, and have both since regretted the decision. Fast friends, they bonded over a shared annoyance with their vacuous peers and tendency to misread almost every social situation. They soon became roommates, even masquerading as a couple for a brief period before embracing their true gay identities.
After graduating, Valerie emigrated to New York to pursue her stage career while Eoghan shacked up with a Filipino man and got stuck in retail. After a visa rejection, Val returned to Ireland for what she'd hoped would be a temporary visit, but soon moved in with Eoghan and his partner, unfortunately leading to the demise of their marriage. Now faced with brutal economic strain, Val and Eoghan have to try to rebuild their lives without breaking a nail.
Much of the action takes place with the characters facing into mirrors, with several reflections bounced out to the audience, as they carry out conversations on the phone, meeting up only briefly for ill-fated coffee dates and stylistic forays into fantasy and delusion. Both believe that they are meant for greater things, Valerie considering herself as something of a celebrity, often referring to herself as kitsch when met with the disapproval of her peers and Eoghan seeing himself as a misunderstood poet ahead of his time(which is so unfortunate as now he has all of the time in the world.)
The pair still pride themselves on being social contrarians, going against the grain of popular interests and if Boots didn't want you to use their produce, why would they have so many free samples? While Eoghan navigates every precarious social situation with the uptmost caution, striving to make the best impression, Valerie hurtles headlong into ill-mannered confrontation and excessive rudeness. She insults HR managers, gardai and baristas with equal force. Eoghan chastises Valerie for the public embarrassment she brings upon them both, however she brushes off his criticism and advises him to be less neurotic.
As the narrative unfolds we come to fully understand the multi-faceted nature of who they are: constantly peering through a warped lens that inflates their sense of self-importance yet extremely vulnerable when forced to reckon with what they truly want from life and who they really are. The two lament the superficiality of their contemporaries, the obsession with "wokeness" and the addiction to the transient validation of the internet age. In contrast, Eoghan and Val consider themselves to be well-read and worldly, often quoting the likes of Socrates and Voltaire to illustrate their arguments. Unfortunately they are prone to misconstruing the meaning behind the phrases, often interpreting the opposite of author's intention and serving only to further their own world views.
Through fervent conversations often without context; some rambling forays into delusion, other clipped arguments that build into a comedic frenzy, we piece together the history of Valerie and Eoghan's relationship, the absurdity of their current existence and the uncertainty of the future. And despite all of the glitter and pomp, it may hit very close to home with many members of the audience.
Valerie is a professionally trained writer. She specialized in Advanced Writing at Trinity College, Dublin and achieved a 1.1. She has had work produced/presented with Tribeca Performing Arts Centre, The Galway Fringe Festival, The Dionysian Literary Journal, The Venus Adonis Festival, DU Shakespeare Festival and DU Players. She recently completed writing Series One of NOTIONS.